April 26 NEWSPA Conference Brings Together Media Professionals, Students

19 04 2017

By Nikki Brahm

The 2017 NEWSPA conference will be held April 26 at UW Oshkosh, and will feature 35 sessions and speakers covering a variety of topics, including how to be a better writer or photographer, graphic design basics and careers.


The conference, held in the UW Oshkosh Alumni Welcome and Conference Center and in the Gruenhagen Conference Center, is open with free admission for all UW Oshkosh journalism students. Download the schedule here.

“It’s a great chance to meet some professionals and to hear from people who our working in the field,” said NEWSPA Executive Secretary Barbara Benish.

The keynote presentation will begin at 11 a.m. and feature Pulitzer Prize winners Mark Johnson, a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Gary Porter, a former photographer at the Journal Sentinel who is now freelancing. The two were part of a team who won the 2011 Pulitzer for explanatory journalism.

Pulitzer Prize reporter Raquel Rutledge will also be speaking, as well as presenting students with $1,000 in cash prizes in NEWSPA’s first-ever In the Pulitzer Tradition Writing Contest, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes. Rutledge judged the 12 entries in this special competition. In addition, more than 100 students will take home certificates of recognition in the regular NEWSPA newspaper and yearbook competition. This year, schools submitted more than 600 student entries.


Benish said about 350 students and advisers from about 25 schools generally participate in the annual spring conference, which also awards a $500 scholarship to a student planning to study journalism in college.

“What’s exciting is the number of journalism students who are helping to put this event together,” Benish said.  “Students in Reporting and Writing for the Media will be writing stories for our fall newsletter, and students in Dr. Kristine Nicolini’s PR Techniques class have been put in charge of NEWSPA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and will be helping run the event.” Those students will be live tweeting at the conference, writing some stories for the fall newsletter, and taking photos to use in the newsletter, NEWSPA website or Facebook page.

In addition, students in Dr. Sara Steffes Hansen’s Application of New and Emerging Media class are updating the NEWSPA website, which will allow schools to register for the conference online and submit articles and photos electronically for the various NEWSPA contests.

Check out more about NEWSPA online, and on Facebook and Twitter.



UWO Ad Club Tours Element

14 04 2017

By Elizabeth Ritschard and Ashley Statz (@uwo_adclub)

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Advertising Club recently toured Element, a full service agency, in Neenah, Wisconsin. Element has two offices, one in Neenah and the other in De Pere, with 28 employees combined between both locations. Ad Club members were able to see how Element works hard to achieve great client-employee relationships. The students met with Chloe De Young, public relations specialist and alumna of the Department of Journalism, who led part of the tour.


Ad Club members with alumna, Chloe De Young.

Touring the renovated studio space was quite interesting because of both its design and functionality. The office atmosphere at Element was very eco-friendly. Repurposed materials including light fixtures, metal doors, and wood paneling were all used in the renovation. Within this space Element provides both traditional marketing services and website development in-house.

When working for its clients, Element analyzes target audience behavior, local and national competition, psycho-demographics, and even takes consumer reviews into consideration. Element primarily focuses on business to business (B2B) communication rather than business to consumer (B2C), however with an 80/20 ratio, they also understand the importance of looking at the bigger picture. Additionally, the team at Element produces applications and websites through strategic planning, programming, graphic analysis, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and analytic reports.

We loved touring this small town agency and getting to know the team that puts in long hours to produce fun advertisements! Are you interested in learning more about the agency life? Join us for a meeting! Ad Club meets Thursdays at 4 p.m. in Sage Hall 3420! We hope to see you there!

PRSSA Wins Pacesetter Award, Third Award For Year

1 04 2017

By Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)

Congratulations to The Dr. Julie Henderson PRSSA Chapter at UW Oshkosh for being the honored recipients of PRSSA National’s Pacesetter Chapter Recognition award for the month of February!


The Pacesetter recognizes a chapter’s success in three areas: membership, national participation, and chapter development. UWO’s chapter was acknowledged for increasing chapter membership by 74 percent through on-campus engagement, participating in a national initiative by conducting high school outreach, attending a sponsor PRSA chapter’s meeting, and hosting a LinkedIn workshop for members.

Receiving the Pacesetter was the most recent achievement for the chapter, during what has been a busy and successful school year.

At the beginning of March, eighteen members attended the 2017 PRSSA Midwest Regional Conference, PRPalooza, in Chicago hosted by DePaul University. The focus of the conference was on music and entertainment public relations.

The conference consisted of three tracks for students to choose from: music, television and film, and theater. Agency tours were included at various establishments such as the House of Blues, Cinespace, Lincoln Hall, and more. Outside of the conference, members attended a private performance at Second City and visited UWO journalism alum, Shane Arman, at Ketchum’s Chicago office.


In the fall semester, the chapter also had six members attend the 2016 PRSSA National Conference in Indianapolis. The students attended five days of professional development sessions, visited the Indianapolis Zoo, and even found time to bring home two awards.

The chapter received the Star Chapter award, and faculty adviser, Dr. Sara Steffes Hansen, was the honored recipient of the Dr. F.H. Teahan Faculty Adviser award.


Currently the chapter is busy preparing to participate in the National Organ Donor Awareness Competition (NODAC) this April.

For more information you can visit the chapter’s Blog, Facebook, or Twitter. Meetings are held Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in Sage 3412.

Advance-Titan 2016-2017 Awards and Achievements

31 03 2017

@Christina Basken (@ChristinaBasken)

(In order top left to bottom right)

Morgan Van Lanen-Head Sports Editor, Austin Walther-Social Media Manager, Alex Nemec-Head News Editor, Mike Johrendt-Assistant Sports Editor, Ti Windisch-Managing Editor, Garrett Wright-Copy Desk Chief, Alyssa Grove-Campus Connections Editor, Kurt Ness-Web Manager, Trevor Hurst-Copy Desk Editor, Nicole Horner-Opinion Editor, Emily Fredrick-Head Photo Editor, Laura Dickinson- Assistant News Editor, Jessica Johnson-Editor-In-Chief, Haley Lentz-Advertising Manager. Not pictured: Alicia Kahl-Assistant Photo Editor.


The UW-Oshkosh Advance-Titan Student Newspaper staff headed to Madison on Feb. 23 to compete in the Wisconsin College Media Association Contest.

During this event, former Editor-In-Chief Katie Knox won first place best news reporting on a piece she wrote about a tattoo project that shed light on mental illness.

“Her piece actually started out as an assignment for my class, but it was so good that we wanted to feature it in the A-T,” said Vincent Filak, adviser of The Advance-Titan.

In addition to this award, reporter Erik Buchinger won first place best sports reporting on his story of UWO quarterback Brett Kasper connecting with his bone marrow transplant recipient, Phoenix Bridegroom.

“It was a huge success for Katie and Erik. I am very proud of both of them,” said Filak.

During fall 2016 semester members of the A-T celebrated a huge win in DC at the Associated Collegiate Press National College Media Convention.

The A-T team submitted their website in a large-scale competition for “best website design and content” among 30 other universities.

“We were all exhausted as we landed in Chicago, but when news hit we found our second wind and celebrated the accomplishment,” said Filak. “It was a pretty big deal for us. We competed on the large scale meaning that we went up against colleges with four times the population and budget, some even with their own web divisions.”

When asked what the biggest contributions were leading up to this victory, Jessica Johnson, the Editor-in-Chief of the Advance-Titan had this to say, “We owe a lot to Kurt Ness. He single-handedly switched our entire operating system over to WordPress, taking advice from all of us along the way making it feel like a real team effort. The website is faster, more reliable, much more user-friendly and visually pleasing.”

The advisor of the paper stated, “We won the award because of the overall website layout and content; reporting, writing and photography. It was especially gratifying to win the award because the judge for this particular entry is very well-known in the community of Journalism as being a very hard critic and I respect him very much,” Filak said.  

A new feature of the website is a section, located under the “report news” tab, where students can submit ideas and feedback on what gets posted.

Looking to the future, the goal of the Advance-Titan is to increase readership and make the student body here at UWO feel more connected to the paper and provide a place for their voices to be heard.

Three Students Named Finalists in Photographer’s Forum Contest

27 03 2017

By Ashley Larson (@aelarson6)

Congratulations to Katie Hanson, Crystal Knuth and Allison Tetrick for being named finalists in Photographer’s Forum’s 37th Annual College & High School Photography Contest!

Katie Hanson


We were given our portrait assignment in Media Photo II class and I had no idea what to have as my subject, so I decided to go with my favorite subject: sports. I decided I wanted to do something with shadows to give the photo a different type of feel, and it worked.

This photo was like nothing I have ever shot before and I loved how it turned out. It took a little bit of experimenting with lighting to get the shadow to fall where I wanted it.

I was able to experiment with a couple different techniques and really enjoyed the process to make this photo.

There are so many submissions to this contest each year, so I was surprised and excited to find out I was a finalist. It is pretty cool to have your work recognized.


Crystal Knuth


I was on a volunteer trip in Antigua, Guatemala when I took the photo I submitted for the contest. As our volunteer group was walking back to our house from construction work, we ran into two young boys playing soccer in the street. The two boys had a tremendous amount of energy because they had to keep their ball from rolling down a slanted road. While playing soccer, one of the boys ran up to the side of the building, and I instantly saw the common color of red between the wall of the building, the shirt of the young boy, and the parked motorcycle. I was inspired by the connection of red, and by the added energy the color brought to the picture.

Every photographer has a plethora of pictures, but only a selected few will catch your eye to become some of your favorite work. The feeling you get when you fall in love with one of your pictures is difficult to describe, but the picture I submitted did just that. I submitted this particular picture because I eventually want to travel with photojournalism.

To be named a finalist in the photo contest not only feels great, but serves as a nice confidence boost to keep pursuing my passion in photojournalism. My heart leads me into my dedication of storytelling, and pictures allow me to show the full frame of unseen stories. My ultimate goal is to teach through my work in photography.


Allison Tetrick


I knew I wanted to go for a lighter, fun feel. A lot of the studio work I have seen seems to be serious and that really isn’t me. Luckily, Zoe (pictured) was more than happy to help me bring that idea to life!

As soon as I started taking pictures of Zoe I knew I wanted her to be laughing. This photo in particular, everything just came together. The lighting was pretty much how I wanted and there was no reflection on her glasses.

This photo makes me smile. It is as simple as that. Photography, to me, is more than just taking photos. It is about telling stories and expressing feelings.

Display Your Best Self: PRSSA Holds LinkedIn Workshop

1 03 2017

By Ashley Larson (@aelarson6)

As a senior, the real world is right around the corner. With it comes the daunting task of job (or internship) hunting. Recently, PRSSA hosted Barb Benish and Dr. Sara Steffes Hansen, who gave a LinkedIn workshop about how to use this important networking platform along with one-on-one help for attendees. Students of all skill levels met to improve their profiles or, like me, get started on the networking site.

Dr. Hansen kicked the workshop off with a video explaining why students should make a LinkedIn profile. Turns out, it’s not just for well-connected CEOs! Building a strong profile now may help you land that awesome job right after graduation.

For new users, Benish built a profile from scratch and highlighted best practices along the way. Her first tip? Make sure you have a strong résumé! It makes creating your LinkedIn profile a piece of cake.

She also pointed out the importance of a good profile picture. LinkedIn users with a quality photo are 21 times more likely to be viewed and 36 times more likely to be messaged.

Your profile summary on LinkedIn is key, according to Benish, because it’s like your digital elevator pitch. Sell yourself! All it takes is a few short paragraphs and bullet points to highlight your skills, accomplishments and goals. Sprinkle in some personality and employers may be interested in hiring you.

Speaking of personality, remember to change the URL on your public profile to your name, if possible. This makes it shorter, neater and easier to remember.

Badges are another component of a strong LinkedIn profile. For example, New and Emerging Media students who take and pass the HubSpot inbound marketing certification exam can display a badge on their profile. PRSSA members can showcase their membership card on LinkedIn as well.

Another cool thing about LinkedIn is its portfolio capabilities. Upload your résumé. Share some writing samples or photographs. If you’re working on something awesome for class, work or your internship, add it to your profile.

As students, adding courses related to the field you want to work in is a great way to show prospective employers that you have practical knowledge.

Don’t forget to interact with other users! After all, LinkedIn is a social network. Endorsements from coworkers and supervisors show that you have skills. Connect with your professors and classmates—you never know what connections they may have.

J-Department To Celebrate Milestones for Fall 2016 Semester

7 12 2016

By Timothy R. Gleason, Ph.D., Chair

The Department of Journalism is marking several milestones for the semester as its holiday celebration approaches to recognize fall graduates. The celebration will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8, in the Reading Room. Department Chair Dr. Tim Gleason shared some highlights for the semester:

Public relations major “turns one”

  • Our first year of the new Public Relations Major (previously an emphasis) has enhanced the visibility of our program, especially among freshmen. We’re enjoying meeting with these students as they explore this exciting major.
  • We happily welcomed a new assistant professor of public relations, Dr. Kristine Nicolini, to our faculty. Dr. Nicolini recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and brings significant professional and teaching experience. She’s already added some innovative approaches, such as panel teaching formats in Case Studies of Public Relations and CisionPoint PR software, in her first semester on the job.
  • Students in The Dr. Julie Henderson PRSSA Chapter participated in the PRSSA National Conference in Indianapolis. They won the Star Chapter Award, and their advisor, Dr. Sara Hansen, won the national Outstanding Faculty Adviser Teahan Award.

Advertising advances with national program

  • Advertising students participated in the Insight+Interaction: Student Advertising Career Conference at the Chicago Portfolio School sponsored by the American Advertising Federation. Students attended sessions from industry speakers on branding to analytics, breakout sessions on job paths for different ad agency roles and a networking event with recruiters.
  • Ad Club hosted sessions to expand design skills and prepare students for the National Student Advertising Competition. The club hosted journalism alum Brody Karmenzind, an ad account manager at Facebook, at the Dec. 5 meeting.

Writing/editing and visual curriculum expanding… and more awards

  • Our growth with the Interactive Web Management interdisciplinary program contributed to an additional section of Writing for the Media for spring, as this is a core course for online content development.
  • Staff for the Advance-Titan traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the Associated Collegiate Press National Convention, where they won 9th place for Best Overall Website. Their adviser, Dr. Vince Filak, won the College Media Association’s Distinguished Newspaper Adviser of the Year for his work with the student newspaper.
  • Our Society of Professional Journalists Chapter continued its movie series and arranged for a well-attended tour of the Oshkosh Northwestern, where students met the editorial staff, including alumna Noell Dickmann. The chapter also won first place in the window–decorating competition that is part of homecoming.
  • Photo Club is beginning a rephotography project on campus. Members will be using old photos of campus for inspiration and to see how campus has changed.
  • The department welcomed Doug Sundin as an adjunct instructor for Media Photo I this fall. Mr. Sundin is the photography/videography services manager at University Marketing and Communications. Dr. Gleason will be returning to Media Photography I in Spring 2017.

Faculty and staff activities

  • Faculty members reported research relevant to the presidential campaign. Dr. Gleason and Dr. Hansen published an article about President Obama, visual rhetoric, and branding in the Howard Journal of Communications. Dr. Hansen and Dr. Shu-Yueh Lee presented research on the Donald Trump campaign at a national journalism conference in Minneapolis in August.
  • Nicolini presented two collaborative research projects at the National Communication Association convention in Philadelphia in November. The first study examined parental mediation and children’s media consumption behaviors. The second paper focused on the emerging transition from cross-cultural to inter-cultural communication.
  • Faculty members Timothy Gleason and Sara Hansen nominated Cindy Schultz for the University Staff Senate STAR award for service going above and beyond to the department. Schultz received the award in July 2016.
  • Cindy Schultz is active in CivilityWorks on campus. In the fall, she manages the Bare Essentials Campaign where campus is urged to donate clothing and food for St. Vincent DePaul and Oshkosh Area Food Pantry for back to school needs for the Oshkosh community. Additionally, she spearheads the Be The Change We Need loose change drive to collect funds for the Day by Day Warming Shelter. This year the campus community was able to raise over $437 that was matched by an anonymous donor from the greater Oshkosh community.

The Department of Journalism is thankful to be celebrating the wrap of another great year. Come celebrate with us, and congratulate our December graduates starting their new roles as media professionals. We wish you all a wonderful holiday season!